The Baseball Hall of Fame will have two new members as the Today’s Game Committee have elected Harold Baines and Lee Smith.
Over a 22 year career, Baines collected 2,866 Hits with 384 Home Runs and 1,628 RBI. Primarily a Designated Hitter, Baines was with the Chicago White Sox for 14 of those years and he was a five time All Star. He also played for Baltimore, Texas, Oakland and Cleveland. The selection of Baines bodes well for future Designated Hitters.
Lee Smith recorded 478 Saves, leading his respective lad in that four times and at the time of his retirement he was first all-time in Saves. Unlike Baines who was only on the Hall of Fame ballot for six years, Smith lasted the entire fifteen years on his initial eligibility.
Smith received all 16 votes and Baines got the minimum 12 votes needed for election. Lou Piniella just missed with 11 votes.
The selection of Baines is turning heads in some circles as he never was never a strong MVP candidate. He never had a bWAR over 4.2 and if there was a Hall of Very Good, Baines would be the perfect selection. Jerry Reinsdorf, who was his owner when he was with the White Sox, is on that committee and he allegedly lobbied hard for this induction. Baines also had other ties with Pat Gillick (former GM), Roberto Alomar (former teammate) and Tony LaRussa (former Manager). This one will be debated for years to come.
We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to congratulate Lee Smith and Harold Baines for this honor.